As an Amazon Associate, this site earns a commission from Amazon sales.











July 5th, 2022

Shoot Like a Champion — How to Drill Tiny Groups at 200 Yards

200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia tiny group 6 PPC

This site is for and about accurate shooters. So today we feature the short-range group Benchrest game, where it’s all about shooting tiny groups in the ones and even “zeros”. Seeing the tiny groups 6 PPC aces produce, it’s easy to think the precision is all about the equipment. But there is a lot more involved. A talented human still has to watch the flags, run the gun properly, and tune his loads for the conditions. Here are some tips from one of the world’s best benchresters, Charles Huckeba.

Texan Charles Huckeba was the top individual shooter at the 2013 World Benchrest Championships (WBC) held near Sydney Australia in October 2013. In this video, 2013 WBC Two-Gun Overall winner Charles shoots a 1/8th MOA group at 200 yards — “a little bitty dot” as a fellow Team USA shooter observes. That’s impressive. If you can describe Huckeba’s style in a nutshell it would be “smooth, consistent, and rapid but not hurried”.

Charles also employed some unusual hardware. In the video, take a close look at the joystick on the Farley Coaxial front rest. There’s no knob at the end. In its place is a small, wood ammo caddy. Charles removed the standard knob from the handle of his Farley rest and replaced it with a home-made wood block that holds cartridges for the record target. The 10.5-lb Light Varmint rifle is chambered in 6PPC with a BAT Machine Action and a composite wood and carbon-fiber stock.

Watch Charles Huckeba Shoot 1/8 MOA, 200-yard group at World Benchrest Championships

Here is the actual 200-yard, 5-shot group Charles shot in the video. Photo (by Stuart Elliot) taken through the lens of Huckeba’s 50X March scope (reticle has 1/16th MOA Dot).
200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia
200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia

Analyzing the Fine Points — What Makes Huckeba So Good

Short-range benchrest shooter Boyd Allen saw some interesting things in Huckeba’s WBC performance, as captured on video. Boyd noticed Huckeba’s smooth gun-handling and efficient loading. But Boyd also spied some interesting equipment, including an innovative joystick “handle-caddy”.

1. Low Friction Bags — When Huckeba slid his rifle, there was very little apparent friction. The front bag features the new 3M material (ScotchLite) on the sliding surfaces. The rear Protektor bag has ears of the same low-friction material.

2. Pause Before Chambering — While he was watching the flags and deciding when to start firing, Charles kept his first round in the action, but out of the barrel’s chamber, probably so as not to heat the cartridge and change the round’s point of impact.

Charles Huckeba PPC World Benchrest joystick handle3. Ammo Caddy on Joystick Arm – Charles shoots a Right Bolt/Left Port action, so he pulls his rounds with his left hand. Note that Huckeba’s record rounds rest in a small, wood ammo caddy attached to the end of the joystick shaft. Look carefully, you’ll see the wood ammo block in place of the normal black ball at the end of the joystick. That allows Charles to pull shots with the absolute minimum of hand movement. Ingenious! Huckeba is very fast, with a great economy of motion. I believe that because his ammo was literally at hand, Charles was better able to keep his focus on aiming and the flags.

4. Smooth-Cycling BAT Action — Note how smoothly Huckeba’s action operates. When Charles lifts the bolt handle (to extract a round and cock the firing pin), this does not disturb the rifle. Likewise, as he closes the bolt, the gun doesn’t wobble. The smooth action allows Charles to hold point of aim even when shooting relatively quickly. Huckeba’s BAT action is chrome-moly steel. Some shooters believe this metal makes for a smoother action than stainless steel or aluminum.

5. Long-Wheelbase Stock — The wood and carbon fiber stock is light, long, and stiff. Yet, importantly, the stock is also well-damped. The longer-than-average stock length (with extended forearm) seems to help the gun track well without jumping or rocking. The longer forearm allows a longer “wheelbase”, effectively shifting the weight distribution rearward (less weight on the front, more weight on the rear). This places a greater share of the gun’s weight on the rear bag, as compared to a more conventional benchrest stock. Huckeba’s stock, built by Bob Scoville, is at the cutting edge of short-range benchrest design. Its light-weight balsa wood and carbon fiber construction provides a combination of stiffness and vibration damping that allows its relatively long fore-end to be fully utilized to increase the weight on the rear bag (always an issue with 10.5-pound rifles).

To learn more about this benchrest stock design, read the comments by stock-builder Bob Scoville in our PPC with Pedigree story in our Gun of the Week Archives. Bob observed:

“There is a lot more to the structure of the stocks than meets the eye. The carbon fiber skin with which I cover the stocks creates a light, tough exterior surface. However, this contributes very little to the overall performance of the stocks. The real strength and stiffness is the result of an internal beam utilizing balsa core/carbon fiber technology.

This type construction can be found in aircraft, race cars, powerboats, and sailboats. It is interesting to note, balsa has the highest strength to weight ratio of all woods and carbon fiber is one of the lowest stretch (modulus of elasticity) relative to weight of all materials. The marriage of these two materials is common in the high-performance world. Additionally, balsa is used commercially for vibration dampening and sound reduction.”

Video find by Boyd Allen. Video by Stuart Elliot of BRT Shooters Supply, Brisbane, Australia.
Permalink - Videos, Competition, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip No Comments »
June 26th, 2022

Sunday Gunday: Pride & Joy Guns of Summer from Our Forum

AccurateShooter.com Pride Joy F-Open KW Precision wood stock

One of the most popular features of our Shooters’ Forum is the ongoing “Pride and Joy” thread. Since 2009, Forum members have posted photos and descriptions of their most prized firearms. Here are some of our favorite “Pride and Joy” rifles recently showcased in our Forum. Do you have a gun you’d like to see featured there? Register for the Forum and you can add your favorite gun to the list. The photo above shows multiple wood-stocked Palma rifles belonging to Forum member SParker.

We hope these “pride and joy” rifles may provide inspiration for our readers, whetting their appetite for their next competition, varminting, or hunting rifle project.

22 BR Savage Varminter — Accuracy on a Budget

AccurateShooter.com Pride Joy 22 BR savage varmint rifle ground hog 6mmBR
AccurateShooter.com Pride Joy 22 BR savage varmint rifle ground hog 6mmBR

This 22 BR Savage, with upgrades from Sharpshooter Supply, is the “pride and joy” of Forum member Maynard. Note the heavy-contour custom barrel with brake. That 22 BR cartridge is a very effective choice for varmint work, as the ground hog in the photo proves. The 22 BR and 22 Dasher are capable of outstanding accuracy with a large variety of bullets and powders. A 22 Dasher can rival the ballistics of a 6mmBR out to 500+ yards, but with reduced recoil.

Daughter’s First Rifle — Built by Dad

Pride Joy AccurateShooter hunting benchrest rifles 6BRX Lapua Berger

Above is a nice field rifle built up by a father for his daughter. Forum member FrankZ explains: “This is my favorite rifle and it will become my daughter’s first centerfire. The action is from the first rifle I purchased with my own money 21 years ago (700VSS).” The rifle now sports a 24″ Brux barrel chambered in 6mm Creedmoor, with aftermarket PT&G Bolt and DBM metal.

6BR Ackley Improved from Alex Wheeler

Pride Joy AccurateShooter hunting benchrest rifles wheelgun Ruger Revolver hunter

Here is a 6BR Ackley Improved (6BRA) built by Alex Wheeler. This blue marble-painted beauty features a BAT “B” action timed by Alex, fitted with Jewell trigger, and Borden trigger guard. The barrel is a Hawk Hill HV contour finished at 28 inches. The stock is a Deep Creek Tracker with 4″ forearm and rudder system (the toe of the stock adjusts for angle, allowing better tracking). This scope is a Vortex 15-60x52mm Golden Eagle riding in Burris Signature Zee rings.

F-Open Rifle with Borden Action + McMillan Kestros ZR Stock

AccurateShooter.com Pride Joy F-Open borden action mcmillan kestros ZR
AccurateShooter.com Pride Joy F-Open borden action mcmillan kestros ZR

This state-of-the-art .284 Shehane F-Open rifle belongs to Forum member Willow. This has a McMillan Kestros ZR stock fitted with a RAD (spring-loaded buttpad) system with custom spring. Other components are: Borden BRMXD LBRP DLC-coated action, Bartlein 32″, 4 groove, 1:8.5″-twist 400MOD steel barrel, and TriggerTech Diamond trigger. On top is a March HM 10-60x56mm scope in March Gen 3 rings. Below is a video by Editor F-Class John, showing the features of the Kestros ZR stock.

6BRX in the Country

Pride Juy AccurateShooter hunting benchrest rifles 6BRX Lapua Berger

Forum member Grimstod posted this nice 6BRX in a scenic setting: “Bill Goad at Premier Accuracy crated this fantastic 6BRX. It shoots better then I do.” The rifle features a single-feed Alpin action, with Hart 26″ 1:8″-twist barrel, chambered for the 6BRX (6mmBR wildcat) with .269 neck. Grimstod currently runs 95gr Berger VLDs in Lapua brass. On top is a Leupold 40x45mm scope on a Picatinny rail that Grimstod machined himself. The stock is an HS Precision painted by Premier Accuracy.

6mm Dasher for Benchrest Silhouette Matches

Pride Juy AccurateShooter hunting benchrest rifles 6BRX Lapua Berger

Here’s a gorgeous green 6mm Dasher. Forum Member Gunnermhr states: “This is my new 12-lb Dasher for the 1000 Yard Benchrest silhouette matches. My good friend at CRS Custom Rifle Stocks in Aaronsburg, PA made and painted the stock. It’s similar to a Tooley MBR with a few modifications. It still supported on a 3″ forearm and is full length. Hard to imagine it still makes weight with a wood stock and a 36 power Leopold. Crossed the scale at 11.7lbs. The rifle features a BAT “B” Action. The paint is Candy Apple Green, the forearm has a white base-coat, center section is gray base coat and the buttstock is black base coat, all covered with five coats of clear. It’s the new pride of the fleet as it shoots as good as it looks. This gun hammers with 105gr Berger Hybrids.”

Two Dashers and a Rimfire for Fun

pride joy 6mm Dasher Anshutz

Courtesy Forum member Dan H., here are two red-stocked Dashers plus an Anschutz 54.30 (Benchrest Stock) to make it a trio. Dan says: “The Anschutz provides good practice in trigger-pulling. It’s amazing what you can learn from a rifle that is as sensitive as this one.”

1917 Enfield Upgraded with Hand-Carved Figured Maple Stock

Pride Juy AccurateShooter hunting benchrest rifles wheelgun Ruger Revolver hunter

This impressive rifle features an “antique” 1917 Enfield action chambered for the .338 Win Magnum cartridge. The lovely Maple stock was hand-carved by Forum member Spitfire_ER. He tells us: “I found this piece of wood as a return at a lumber yard about 7-8 years ago. I asked the guy in the yard about it and he said it had been returned because it had too much figure for the job the customer was working on. First thing I thought was, ‘That would make a nice stock’.”

New 6PPC with Borden Action, Lederer Barrel, Loker Tuner

Pride Juy AccurateShooter hunting benchrest rifles 6BRX Lapua Berger
Pride Juy AccurateShooter hunting benchrest rifles 6BRX Lapua Berger

Here’s a modern, low-profile, short-range Benchrest rifle, finished proudly in bright red. Forum Member JimmyMac posted: “Picked up my new 6 PPC today. This red rig features a Borden B action (Jewell trigger) fitted with a Lederer 1:14″-twist barrel with a Loker tuner. The barrel action rides in a Roy Hunter stock. On top is a Nightforce 42x44mm Competition scope in BAT rings. The rifle was smithed by Dave Bruno.”

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
June 24th, 2022

Legendary Indoor Accuracy — Secrets of the Houston Warehouse

houston warehouse 6ppc secrets
Kelbly Light Varmint PPC Rifle from Gunbroker.com.

From the late ’70s through 1983, a huge, concrete-walled warehouse in Houston was used for benchrest testing. Virgil King and Bob Fisher set up a bullet-catching backstop at the end of a 30-yard-wide, 325-yard-long fire lane that remained unobstructed even when the warehouse was in use. This allowed accuracy tests in virtually perfect “no wind” conditions. Over a six-year period, about 30 shooters were invited to test their rifles. The results were amazing, with numerous “zero groups” being shot in the facility. Many of the lessons learned in the legendary Houston Warehouse still help benchresters achieve better accuracy today.

Dave Scott wrote a superb article, the Secrets of the Houston Warehouse which appeared in a special issue of Precision Shooting Magazine. That issue has long been sold out, but, thankfully, Secrets of the Houston Warehouse is now on the web: CLICK HERE to READ Secrets of the Houston Warehouse.

Houston WarehouseDave Scott explains why the Warehouse was so unique:

“Over a period of six years, the levels of accuracy achieved in the Houston Warehouse went beyond what many precision shooters thought possible for lightweight rifles shot from sandbags and aimed shot-to-shot by human eye. For the first time, a handful of gifted, serious experimenters — armed with the very best performing rifles (with notable exceptions) — could boldly venture into the final frontiers of rifle accuracy, a journey made possible by eliminating the baffling uncertainties of conditions arising from wind and mirage. Under these steel skies, a shooter could, without question, confirm the absolute limits of accuracy of his rifle, or isolate the source of a problem. In the flawlessly stable containment of the Houston Warehouse … a very few exceptional rifles would display the real stuff, drilling repeated groups measuring well below the unbelievably tiny .100″ barrier. The bulk of rifles, however, embarrassed their owners.”

Scott’s article also reveals some interesting technical points: “One thing that IS important is that the bullet be precisely seated against the lands. T.J. Jackson reported this fact in the May 1987 issue of Precision Shooting. In a letter to the Editor, T.J. wrote, ‘…in all our testing in that Houston warehouse… and the dozens and dozens of groups that Virgil King shot in there ‘in the zeroes’… he NEVER fired a single official screamer group when he was ‘jumping’ bullets. All his best groups were always seated into the lands, or at the very least… touching the lands. Virgil said his practice was to seat the bullets so the engraving was half as long as the width of the lands. He noticed an interesting phenomenon with rifles that could really shoot: if the bullets were seated a little short and the powder charge was a bit on the light side, the groups formed vertically. As he seated the bullets farther out and increased the powder charge, the groups finally became horizontal. If he went still farther, the groups formed big globs. He said the trick is to find the midway point between vertical and horizontal. That point should be a small hole.”

You should definitely read the complete article, as it provides many more fascinating insights, including shooting technique, barrel cleaning, neck-turning, and case prep.

EDITOR: Will the lessons of the Houston Warehouse work elsewhere? Is this repeatable magic? We remind readers that what T.J. Jackson discovered worked for his barrels, his cartridge type, and his choice of bullets. Jumping bullets can definitely produce good results in other cartridge types with bullets such as Berger Hybrids. Still, the Houston results are intriguing. Any time someone shoots in the “zeros” one should pay attention to how that was achieved.

houston warehouse 6ppc secrets

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Shooting Skills No Comments »
April 24th, 2022

Sunday GunDay: 6PPC Falling Block Ultra-Lightweight 97D

eben arthur brown model 97D falling block single shot 6 PPC rifle

While a 16.5-pound benchrest gun is wonderfully stable on the bench, it’s not what you want in a field rifle. There is much to be said for a slim, light-weight, and easy-handling firearm when it comes to a walking varmint adventure. Eben Brown, who runs E. Arthur Brown Company, has created just such a rifle — the Model 97D Falling Block. When chambered for the 6PPC cartridge it delivered quarter-MOA accuracy in a splendidly portable package that tips the scales at just over six pounds without scope. The Model 97D is fairly unique in its lightweight and compact format — that makes it a great field-carry varmint rig. [Editor’s Note: This is an older article and we use some more recent photos of other model 97D Rifles to better illustrate the design and layout.]

eben arthur brown model 97D falling block single shot 6 PPC rifle
Catalog photo of EABCO Model 97D Falling Block rifle.

Excellent Accuracy Made Easy for Sport Shooters

by Eben Brown, E. Arthur Brown Company
You don’t have to be a benchrest competitor to enjoy shooting one of the most accurate centerfire cartridges in the world, the 6mm PPC. With no complicated brass forming or finicky reloading processes, you can be shooting near half-inch groups right from the start and hone your skills to near quarter-inch groups by your second outing–at least that’s how it worked for me, and I’m NOT a good bench rest shooter! Developed by Louis Palmisano and Ferris Pindell, the 6PPC has won more bench rest accuracy competitions than any other cartridge. Easily made from Lapua .220 Russian brass, the 6mm PPC has a small primer and uniquely small flash hole that is credited for much of its inherent accuracy. The “short, fat” shape and nearly straight body contribute to efficient, consistent powder burning and stable chamber performance (it grips the chamber well during ignition).

Eabco model 97D 6ppcThe Brown Model 97D — A Slim, Accurate 6-Pound Rifle
The 97D was developed from the EABCO “BF” falling block silhouette pistols that have won world championships and set 500-meter distance records. In operation, the 97D falling block slides perpendicularly and closes the breech with absolutely zero camming leverage. This makes it a perfect test-bed to measure the chamber performance needed for hand-loading most other single-shot rifles accurately. At the reloading bench, I worked up a load with the now fully shaped 6mm PPC brass. I full-length sized the brass, trimmed, and primed each case the same as I would with any other cartridge, and began loading. With the resultant load, I easily shot a 5-shot 1/4″ group, a personal best for me. See target photo at right.

Making 6mm PPC Cartridges
Full-length size, prime, charge with powder, and seat a bullet… sounds like what you do with any other cartridge, doesn’t it? In fact, the only difference with 6mm PPC is that it has to be fired once (fire-formed) to expand to its final shape and size. But even fire-forming shots produce exceptional accuracy. I shot several 3/4″ groups while fire-forming at 100 yards, with my best group at nearly half-inch–so the time spent fire-forming was wonderful! In the photo, the parent .220 Russian case is on the left, while the fire-formed 6PPC case is on the right.

The EABCO 6mm PPC Chamber
– 6PPC without Neck-turning!

We dimensioned our 6mm PPC chamber reamer to cut a chamber that fits Lapua 220 Russian brass closely without neck-turning. Naturally we recommend you use the Lapua brass for best results.

[Editor’s Note: We asked Eben if he had tried a 6BR chambering in a model 97D. He explained that, because of the extractor design, the falling block action works better with a smaller rim diameter: “The larger .308 rim width creates some issues. This design works best with cartridges no wider than the 30/30 case, or the 7.62×39 case, from which the 22 Russian case was derived. Cases with .308-sized rims develop more bolt thrust and work best with a different type of extractor than we use in the 97D. I love the 6BR, but I recommend the 6PPC for our 97D.”]

6mm PPC Reloading Data for Model 97D

The following loads were worked up in a Model 97D Rifle with 24″ barrel chambered for 6mm PPC with the chamber neck reamed to .275″ to fit Lapua brass without neck-turning. Lapua 220 Russian brass was full-length sized and fire-formed to 6mm PPC using 65gr V-Max bullets, CCI BR4 primers, and 24.5gr of VV N135 powder. Eben cautions: Load at Your Own Risk — Always start 10% low and work up

eben brown 97D Rifle 6ppcThe following optimum loads were worked up with Vihtavuori N135, 58gr and 65gr V-Max bullets, and CCI BR4 primers. Please Note: There really is no “standard” for 6mm PPC. It can be finicky. But once you find what works best for you, the cartridge performs superbly. The accuracy will astound you.

Model 97D Specifications

OAL (with 24″ Barrel): 38″

Approx. Weight without Scope: 6-6.5 lbs.

Barrel: 17-26″ Chromoly or Stainless

Stock: Walnut w/Hardwood Grip Cap

Trigger: Tuned 16-24 ounces

This video shows the Loading Technique for Model 97D Rifle

Powder Selection — Choosing the Right Propellant
I’ve found that my maximum single-shot loads reach the same level of performance as bolt gun loads when I use one level slower burning powder type and proper chamber preparation. For example, when the VihtaVuori loading guide shows a maximum with VV N133, my best single shot load ends up being with the slower burning VV N135. Here’s the simplest way to proceed: Use a starting load from the loading guide and increase the powder charge until you detect some resistance to block movement with your thumb. Next, charge a case with that same amount of powder, tap it to settle, and look to see if the case is full to the base of the neck. If it’s not full, step up to the next slower-rated powder and repeat the load development process. There’s a powder burn rate chart for all brands of powder in the front of the current VihtaVuori Loading Guide. When you have the maximum load that will fill the case and still allow the 97D single-shot to open and eject freely after firing, you’re ready to shoot some groups!

Loading for Best Chamber Performance
In the model 97D rifle you can check chamber performance easily. After firing a shot, see if you can press the block downward with only your thumb on the top of the block. If it moves freely, you’ve got good chamber performance.

I use three pressure indicators when developing loads on the Model 97D. First I check the block with my thumb. Then I check to see if the cartridge sticks at all when ejecting. And finally, I check the primer for the excessive flattening that would indicate too much pressure. Generally, the hottest load that still allows the gun to open and eject freely ends up being my most accurate shooting load.

Chamber Preparation
Best chamber performance happens when a cartridge grips the chamber and does not drive backward significantly. When you want something to grip (rather than slip), you want to make sure there is no lubricant on the gripping surfaces. Case forming lube and gun oil are the two lubricants you want to remove. Clean your 6mm PPC cases after sizing (I wipe mine with a paper towel and Windex). Clean your chamber with a chamber sized jag and patch wetted with acetone. (Note: protect your chamber with a thin coat of Clenzoil when you’re not out shooting.)

Conclusions of a Single-Shot Sport Shooter
I love the 6mm PPC! It was easy to hand-load for the cartridge and it was easy to get excellent results. The group shot on this page was with the 65gr bullet and a rifling twist of 1:10. I usually recommend a 1:12 twist and the 58gr bullet because customers have reported superb accuracy (better groups than I can shoot). But the 5-shot ¼” group I shot with this set-up is my personal best ever–so naturally I’m thrilled!

While it’s hard to beat the 6PPC’s accuracy in a Model 97D rifle, my company currently offers the rifle in a variety of chamberings including 17 Hornet, 219 Donaldson Wasp, and 6mm BRM. The 97D Standard features a blued 24″ chrome-moly barrel, French Gray receiver, anodized buttstock transition, 2-ring scope mount and swivel studs.– Eben Brown

About the production Model 97D Rifles: “The 97D is a small frame single shot rifle that’s suitable for big game as well as small game and varmint hunting. It originally evolved from our World Champion long range silhouette pistol action and incorporates the same accurate gun making processes. The 97D action itself is inherently accurate and simple. Onto this we fit an EABCO Accuracy Barrel, precision turned and threaded between centers. Each chamber is individually reamed on-center and individually head spaced. We feel the crown is so critical to accuracy that we leave it until after the gun is finished. Our 11 degree target crowns are cut last and left bright — our trademark finishing touch.”

Rifle report text and photos Copyright © Eben Brown All Rights Reserved. All other content Copyright © AccurateShooter.com, All Rights Reserved.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 2 Comments »
February 6th, 2022

Sunday GunDay: Bart Sauter’s Tack Driver Match-Winning 6 BRA

Bart Sauter Tack Driver tackdriver II benchrest 6BRA 6mm BRA

The Tack Driver II Showdown

The Tack Driver Showdown is a 300 meter, one-of-a-kind match designed to determine the most accurate rifles in the world regardless of discipline or class. The 2021 Tack Driver II event had 80 of the world’s top competitors representing several disciplines (Short-Range for Group, Short-Range for Score, UBR, F-Class, 600-yd and 1000-yd Benchrest) with calibers/cartridge types ranging from .22 PPC to .300 WSM.

Bart Sauter Tack Driver tackdriver II benchrest 6BRA 6mm BRA

IMPORTANT: Folks, if you shoot competitive benchrest, please DO watch the First Video below. It is full of invaluable information and shooting tips. As Bart holds multiple world records, you should listen to what he says. This is, without question, one of most informative benchrest videos I have ever seen in 18 years of running this site. — EDITOR

This year the match was VERY challenging, with tough, very windy conditions and low temperatures. The overall winner of the Grand Aggregate was bullet-maker Bart Sauter, shown above. Bart was shooting his wickedly accurate 6 BRA rifle with 103gr bullets of his own making. Bart demonstrated that a 6 BRA cartridge with long bullets can beat a 6 PPC, at least at 300 meters when the wind is fierce.

Bart Sauter Tack Driver tackdriver II benchrest 6BRA 6mm BRA

Bart Sauter Tack Driver tackdriver II benchrest 6BRA 6mm BRA

Bart Sauter Tack Driver tackdriver II benchrest 6BRA 6mm BRA

Video of Bart Explaining Rest/Bag Set-Up and Showing Shooting Technique

WATCH THIS! Folks, if you are a benchrest competitor, you absolutely should watch this video. This offers very important insights you won’t find anywhere else. The first five minutes shows very important advice on setting up your rest and bags. Starting at the 10-minute mark, Bart shows how he shoots the rifle, with rapid manual reloads. At the very end, 15:55+ Bart runs five (5) shots in 9 seconds!

Match Results — What Cartridge Types Dominated

Bart reports: “It’s interesting to see the calibers/cartridges in the Top 10 of each category. The Group Match was in fact won by the 6 PPC. However, look at the top 5. Three of the Top 5 are NOT 6 PPCs — that’s notable. The Score Match was won with a .30 WW (I have no clue what that is). There were two .30 calibers in the Top 5 and three in the Top 10. The Grand Aggregate was won with a 6 BRA. I think it’s noteworthy the Top 5 had two 6 PPCs, two 6 BRAs and a .30 WW! That’s a pretty good mix. The Top 10 had a variety of 6MMs and one .30 caliber. That’s another surprise.”

Group Match Results
1st 6 PPC
2nd 22 PPC
3rd 300 WSM
4th 6 Dasher
5th 6 PPC
6th 6 BRA
7th 6 PPC
8th 6 BRA
9th 6 PPC
10th 6 PPC
Score Match Results
1st .30 WW
2nd 6 PPC
3rd 6 PPC
4th 6 BRA
5th 30 Dasher
6th 6 PPC
7th 30 BR
8th 6 BRA
9th 6 PPC
10th 6 PPC
Grand Aggregate
1st 6 BRA
2nd 6 PPC
3rd 6 PPC
4th 6 BRA
5th .30 WW
6th 6 BRA
7th 6 PPC
8th 6 Dasher
9th 6 PPC
10th 6 Dasher
Cartridges at Match
6 PPC — 31
30 BR — 23
6 BRA –6
6 Dasher — 4
6mm BR — 4
30 Dasher — 3
22 PPC — 1
6 BRDX — 1
6 GT — 1
6.5 CM — 1
6.5×284 — 1
.284 Win — 1
.30 WW — 1
30×45 — 1
.300 WSM — 1

Leveling the Playing Field — What Works Best at 300 Meters
Commentary by Bart Sauter
There has been a long standing debate in the shooting world as to whether mid-range/long-range cartridges such as the Dasher, 6 BRA, and 6mmBR are accurate enough to compete against the 6 PPC or 30 BR at shorter distances. The problem has been finding a format that allows the both short-range and longer-range cartridges to compete on a level playing field. The Tack Driver match addresses the problem by moving the distance to 300 meters (approximately 329 yards). This is a bit farther than short range group and score matches which are typically shot at 100 and 200 yards. While the mid-range/long range cartridges shoot primarily at 600 and 1000 yards.

Bart Sauter Tack Driver tackdriver II benchrest 6BRA 6mm BRA
Cartridges Left to Right: 6 PPC, 30 BR, 6mmBR, 6 BRA, 6 DASHER. Those five cartridges represent 85% of cartridge types used at the Tack Driver II match.

Another piece of the puzzle is the type of match — group vs. score. Short Range matches consist of either a group or score match. In group shooting you’re trying to shoot as small of a group as possible (5- or 10-Shot group). Unlike score it doesn’t matter where the group forms on the target. However, in score competition the goal is to hit five individual bullseyes per target, preferably dead center. Score matches are won by the highest point total while group matches are won by the smallest aggregate (smallest average of total groups shot).

Things are different for longer range competitions. 600-yard and 1000-yard Benchrest competitors shoot for score AND group simultaneously on the same target. In other words competitors are trying to shoot the smallest group in the middle of the bullseye for the highest point total. The Tack Driver addresses this problem by having an equal number of score targets and group size targets. Tack Driver II had 5 score targets and 5 group targets at 300 meters, so neither discipline is favored.

6 BRA Wins Tack Driver II Match

The winning combination this year was a 6 BRA (6mmBR Ackley Improved) shot by Bart Sauter. Below are the particulars on Bart’s winning rifle and load information. Watch the following video to learn more about Bart’s very accurate rifle.

Action – BAT DS, Melonited
Picatinny Rail – BAT +20 MOA
Stock – Scarbrough HV
Stock Paint — Brett Childress (Bc’z)
Scope – Valdada 10-60x56mm 40mm tube
Rings – Valdada Low Rings
Stocker – Billy Stevens
Gunsmith – Dean Stroud
Trigger – Jewell
Barrel Tuner – Ezell
Barrel – Lederer 1:8″-Twist, 28″
Barrel Bore Diameter – 0.237″
Neck – .272″ NO TURN
Bullets – 103gr Bart’s Hammers
Case – Lapua 6mmBR parent
Primers – CCI BR4 sm rifle
Powder – Hodgdon H4895
Seating Pressure – 22 to 25 lbs. on gauge
Bullet Seating Depth – .009″ into the rifling from first touch.

Tack Driver II-Winning 6 BRA Rifle — Components Explained

Questions and Answers with Bart Sauter

Match Prep, Cartridge Choice, Comparative Wind Drift, Reloading Gear, Wind Conditions and more…

Q: How did you prepare for the match?

Bart: My good friend and shooting buddy, Jim Chaney, built a target frame which was placed at 300 meters for practice before the match. Our two biggest concerns about the match were: 1) staying competitive during the score portion; and 2) being able to see bullet holes during heavy mirage. The range is mostly South Carolina sand and faces southeast (you can get sun in your eyes). It has a notorious reputation for heavy mirage. So much so that seeing bullet holes can be an issue. Many shooters were swayed to shoot .30 calibers because the holes are easier to see. In fact, when the sun came out for the last couple of targets, several shooters complained they couldn’t see their shots on paper.

Q: I know you’ve shot a 6 PPC for years? What made you decide to go with a 6 BRA?

Bart: Well several things. During practice I bounced back and forth, playing with the 6 PPC and the 6 BRA. My shooting buddy Jim shot his 6 PPC. One of the things I noticed was my 6 BRA consistently edged my 6 PPC and and Jim’s 6 PPC in group size.

The Drift Test — The real eye-opener came when Jim and I conducted a drift test at 200 yards comparing the 6 PPC with 68gr Boattail Avengers to my 6 BRA with 103gr Bart’s Hammers. For the test both rifles were tuned as well as possible. The idea was for both shooters to hold the same point of aim for each shot (total of 5 per sequence). The shots were fired simultaneously by conducting a count down for example “One, Two, Three, FIRE!” Winds were 7 to 10 mph.

Bart Sauter Tack Driver tackdriver II benchrest 6BRA 6mm BRA
Bart (foreground) and Jim Chaney conducting comparative wind-drift tests with 6 PPC and 6 BRA prior to Tack Driver II Match.

Each shot was intentionally fired in a different wind condition over flags. The first 3 shots from the 6 BRA formed a nice 0.300″ group while the 6PPC spread out to a 0.650″. The final two shots were fired in a hard crosswind pushing to the right then a hard crosswind to the left. The 6 PPC was pushed to over a 1.6 inch group while the 6 BRA kept them to around an 0.850″. The test was so conclusive that during the drive to the match Jim abandoned his 6 PPC, and we doubled up on my 6 BRA.

Comparative Wind Drift Explained — 6 PPC vs. 6 BRA

Q: That explains why you chose the 6 BRA, but how did you meet the challenge of seeing 6mm bullet holes despite bad mirage?

Bart: Jim and I played with several different scopes trying to see what would work best. The mirage at my place can be substantial. Around September I purchased the new Valdada 10-60x56mm Precision scope with 40mm tube. This scope is amazing, not only optically, but rock solid accuracy-wise. So if anything was going to work to see bullet holes, it’s this scope. As it turned out, I had no problem seeing my shots on the Tack Driver II targets while others struggled on the last couple of targets.

Q: Did you preload for the match?

Bart: No. I’ve never been to this range so I wasn’t sure where I needed to be load-wise. Also the forecast was calling for cool temperatures and rain, so I had no clue. The plan was to get there early and start tuning soon as the range opened for practice on Friday. It took about 15 shots to verify that the same velocities and load that I ran at a previous Memphis match would work for the Tack Driver II.

Q: If you weren’t preloaded, did you load at the range?

Bart: Not exactly, I didn’t preload for the match at home but I did preload at the hotel. I brought 300 sized and primed cases and everything needed to reload. So after practice, it was back to the hotel to load. Below is my set-up at the hotel.

Bart Sauter Tack Driver tackdriver II benchrest 6BRA 6mm BRA
Reloading setup at hotel: K&M Arbor Press with seating pressure gauge, Wilson Bullet Seater, AutoTrickler V3 Powder trickler/scale housed in a portable, wind-proof loading box.

I loaded cases with Hodgdon H4895 in one-tenth grain increments (0.3 grains total spread) to shoot over the course of the day. I expected that a three-tenth spread would be enough to keep the rifle in tune over the forecast 20-25 degree temperature range. As a backup plan in case the load went completely sideways we hauled all the loading gear to the range each morning. I kept 100 sized and primed cases ready if needed. Fortunately we did not have to use them. We were able to use the three different, prepared loads throughout the day, changing as the ambient temperature rose (highest charge in morning).

Bart Sauter Tack Driver tackdriver II benchrest 6BRA 6mm BRA

Q: What were conditions like?

Bart: The conditions at Tack Driver II for both days were tough! We had switchy head winds ranging from 15 to 25 mph with occasional gusts to 30 mph. Temperature started with morning lows in the high 30s and warmed to a high around 50. The forecast called for rain both days but fortunately it didn’t materialize during the competition.

Bart Sauter Tack Driver tackdriver II benchrest 6BRA 6mm BRA
Bart Sauter checks out conditions during the match. Winds were switchy with gusts to 30 MPH.

Q: Do you have any observations or take-aways from the match?

Bart: Yes, I do! Jim Cline and crew puts on one hell of a match — very well organized and professionally run. And, most of all, the Tack Driver II was fun. Jim keeps things rolling and he has a gift for winding shooters up and getting the competitive juices going. For example he told three of the Top 6 PPC shooters, “If Bart beats you with that 6 BRA, all of you are getting autographed T-shirts at the award ceremony”.

Bart Sauter Tack Driver tackdriver II benchrest 6BRA 6mm BRA
True to his word, Jim Cline presents (L to R) Roy Hunter, Jeff Pineheart, and Wayne Cambell, with their Bart Sauter-autographed Tack Driver T-shirts. (Cline stands behind the trio.)

About Bart Sauter and Bart’s Custom Bullets

Bart's Custom Bullets logoOur philosophy at Bart’s Custom Bullets is to take care of our customers, don’t cut corners, test everything, and never sell a bullet I wouldn’t be proud to take to a match. We started making bullets in 2000, while I was still in the Army. From the beginning Kim (my wife) and I decided to spend whatever It would take to get the best equipment available. We built a range for testing at every location the Army sent us. It’s been a successful combination.

Our bullets have set well over 50 world records and have won every major competition in short range. Now we are making strides to accomplish the same thing in Long Range.

Bullet Design — What Does the Future Hold? We have come a long way in the design and manufacturing of bullets. Everything has improved to include high-quality presses, jackets with close to zero run-out, and bullet dies that are straighter and more concentric than ever before. I believe we are close to the apex of designing bullets that shoot from 100 out to 1000 yards. Any improvement at this point will be incremental. In my opinion, the bullets we make right now are capable of shooting a 0.500″ group at 1000 yards (without wind effects). That probably sounds crazy to a lot of shooters. But I think the capability currently exists. It’s just going to take a special gun, barrel, shooter and condition combination to see it. Now bullets for Extreme Long Range (ELR) could be a new frontier for bullet design.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Competition, Shooting Skills 3 Comments »
October 30th, 2021

Tackdriver II Multi-Discipline Match November 6-7 in So. Carolina

Tack Driver 300m match open class multi discipline

The Tack Driver Showdown is a one-of-a-kind “all comers” rifle match. This unique multi-discipline match will reveal what rifle types are truly the MOST accurate, at least out to 300 meters. The Tack Driver Showdown II match will be held Saturday, November 6-7, 2021 at the Mid-Carolina Gun Club in Orangeburg, South Carolina. The organizers have invited virtually any type of rifle (except railguns) to compete at 300 meters for group and score honors. There should be nearly 100 competitors at the event this coming weekend. No organization membership is required. NOTE: Registration closes Wednesday November 3, 2021 at 6:00 PM. Contact Match Director Jim Cline at: 843-957-6546. Forum members can also send a PM to Jim Cline aka jcline.

Unlike any other rifle match in the world, on the firing line you will see 6 PPC LV/HV rifles, 30 BR score rigs, 17-lb 600-yard and 1000-yard benchrest guns, F-TR rifles, F-Open rifles, Palma rifles, PRS rifles, and maybe even an AR15 or two.

Tack Driver 300m match open class multi discipline

The concept behind the event is to settle the unending arguments about which guns are TRULY the most accurate. The 6PPC is king in 100/200 group competition, the 30BR rules 100/200 score, 6mmBRs and 6BR Improveds dominate in 600-yard Benchrest, the .284 Win is the leading F-Open cartridge, and various 6mms and 6.5mms win PRS matches. It will be interesting to see which chamberings and bullet weights will “rule the roost” at 300 meters. Match Director Jim Cline plans to post match results on our AccurateShooter.com Forum. For more information, read this Forum Thread.

Tack Driver II targets will be placed at 300 meters (328 yards). That’s not even “mid-range” by benchrest standards, but it should be far enough that the higher BCs of the bullets shot by F-Class and 600/1000-yard benchrest rigs could come into play.

Basic Information on the Tack Driver Shoot:
There are two divisions — bolt-action rifles and semi-auto gas guns. There are no specific design limits other than a 22-lb maximum weight, and a .338 maximum caliber. Past IBS President Jeff Stover tells us: “We envision the full array of the world’s most accurate rifles on the line: short and long range benchrest rifles, F-Class, AR, other tactical, egg-shoot rifles, whatever…[.]” Key rules are listed below. Semi-autos will need chamber flags, otherwise bolts must be out at all times. You do not have to be a member of the IBS to shoot. The range will be open Friday, November 13th starting at 12:00 noon for practice and flag setting.

Tack Driver 300m match open class multi discipline

Cash Payouts for the Winners in both Group and Score
Match Director Jim Cline noted that First place through Fifth place will be paid in both score, group and Grand Aggregate finishing positions. Match fee is $120, which includes a catered lunch both days. Jim states: “We will have an additional $30 cash option, $50 cash option and a $100 cash option. You have to be in the $30 cash option to get in the $50 cash option and in the $50 to be in the $100.”

Tack Driver 300m match open class multi discipline

2021 Tack Driver II Showdown Rules Overview
1. NO membership of any organization required.
2. NO one piece rest, all shooting will be done off benches. You may use a bi-pod, bags or rest combination.
3. You have to shoot the same gun at all targets. If you have a catastrophic failure, you have to continue with a gun of the SAME caliber and cartridge. (Has to be approved by the match director ONLY.) Scope failure will require a scope change.
4. No electronic equipment of any type will be allowed on the bench or downrange.
5. No spotting scopes allowed on the bench or people spotting for you.
6. No coaching under any circumstances (except youth).
7. Any gun is legal 30 caliber and under with a 22 pound weight maximum.
8. Any protest will be handled by the committee and their decision is FINAL!

2021 Tack Driver II Showdown Match Course of Fire
1. Competition will consist of 5 group targets and 5 IBS 200 yard score targets at 300 METERS.
2. All targets will be 7-minute matches. There will NO warm-up match on either day. ALL
shots count in the scoring area of the target.
3. Range will be made available for practice on Friday before the match starting at 8:00 AM only closing to set flags. Flag setting times are 7-8 am, 9-10 am, 11am-12pm and the
range will be called cold at 3:00 pm to end all practice.
4. We will alternate targets each time:
Day 1: Score/Group/Score/Group/Score
Day 2: Group/Score/Group/Score/Group
5. We will rotate 10 benches for the second day’s course of fire.
6. Winner will be determined by place of finish at each discipline. If there is a tie we will break it by highest place of finish. If that can’t break it we will go to group place of finish.

tack driver showdown mid-carolina gun club south carolina
Covered Firing Line at Mid-Carolina Gun Club. Photo from 2019 100/200m Score Nationals.

Jim Cline tells us: “Preregistration is REQUIRED. A $100 nonrefundable deposit is required with your form to hold a spot. Limited to the first 100 guns! There will be a $60 nonrefundable deposit to hold a camping spot 1st come first serve. I have 13 with full hook-ups and 7 with power and water. There is space for self-contained camping as well.” For more information, including camping/RV details at the Mid-Carolina Gun Club venue, contact Jim Cline at 843-957-6546, or post questions on this Accurateshooter Forum Thread.

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
July 13th, 2021

Benchrest Shooting Technique — How to Shoot Like a Champion

200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia tiny group 6 PPC

Today we feature the short-range group Benchrest game, where it’s all about shooting tiny groups in the ones and even “zeros”. Seeing the tiny groups 6 PPC aces produce, it’s easy to think that precision is all about the equipment. But there is a lot more involved. A talented human still has to watch the flags, run the gun properly, and tune his loads for the conditions. Here are some tips from one of the world’s best benchresters, Charles Huckeba.

If you were an aspiring basketball player, you’d surely study All-Stars such as Stephen Curry and Devin Booker to see how they shoot so well. This article provides a chance to see how a world-class benchrest All-Star drills tiny 5-shot groups at 100 and 200 yards.

Texan Charles Huckeba was the top individual shooter at the 2013 World Benchrest Championships (WBC) held near Sydney Australia in October 2013. In this video, 2013 WBC Two-Gun Overall winner Charles shoots a 1/8th MOA group at 200 yards — “a little bitty dot” as a fellow Team USA shooter observes. That’s impressive. If you can describe Huckeba’s style in a nutshell it would be “smooth, consistent, and rapid but not hurried”.

Charles also employed some unusual hardware. In the video, take a close look at the joystick on the Farley Coaxial front rest. There’s no knob at the end. In its place is a small, wood ammo caddy. Charles removed the standard knob from the handle of his Farley rest and replaced it with a home-made wood block that holds cartridges for the record target. The 10.5-lb Light Varmint rifle is chambered in 6PPC with a BAT Machine Action and a composite wood and carbon-fiber stock.

Watch Charles Huckeba Shoot 1/8 MOA, 200-yard group at World Benchrest Championships

Here is the actual 200-yard, 5-shot group Charles shot in the video. Photo (by Stuart Elliot) taken through the lens of Huckeba’s 50X March scope (reticle has 1/16th MOA Dot).
200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia
200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia

Analyzing the Fine Points — What Makes Huckeba So Good

Short-range benchrest shooter Boyd Allen saw some interesting things in Huckeba’s WBC performance, as captured on video. Boyd noticed Huckeba’s smooth gun-handling and efficient loading. But Boyd also spied some interesting equipment, including an innovative joystick “handle-caddy”.

1. Low Friction Bags — When Huckeba slid his rifle, there was very little apparent friction. The front bag features the new 3M material (ScotchLite) on the sliding surfaces. The rear Protektor bag has ears of the same low-friction material.

2. Pause Before Chambering — While he was watching the flags and deciding when to start firing, Charles kept his first round in the action, but out of the barrel’s chamber, probably so as not to heat the cartridge and change the round’s point of impact.

Charles Huckeba PPC World Benchrest joystick handle3. Ammo Caddy on Joystick Arm – Charles shoots a Right Bolt/Left Port action, so he pulls his rounds with his left hand. Note that Huckeba’s record rounds rest in a small, wood ammo caddy attached to the end of the joystick shaft. Look carefully, you’ll see the wood ammo block in place of the normal black ball at the end of the joystick. That allows Charles to pull shots with the absolute minimum of hand movement. Ingenious! Huckeba is very fast, with a great economy of motion. I believe that because his ammo was literally at hand, Charles was better able to keep his focus on aiming and the flags.

4. Smooth-Cycling BAT Action — Note how smoothly Huckeba’s action operates. When Charles lifts the bolt handle (to extract a round and cock the firing pin), this does not disturb the rifle. Likewise, as he closes the bolt, the gun doesn’t wobble. The smooth action allows Charles to hold point of aim even when shooting relatively quickly. Huckeba’s BAT action is chrome-moly steel. Some shooters believe this metal makes for a smoother action than stainless steel or aluminum.

5. Long-Wheelbase Stock — The wood and carbon fiber stock is light, long, and stiff. Yet, importantly, the stock is also well-damped. The longer-than-average stock length (with extended forearm) seems to help the gun track well without jumping or rocking. The longer forearm allows a longer “wheelbase”, effectively shifting the weight distribution rearward (less weight on the front, more weight on the rear). This places a greater share of the gun’s weight on the rear bag, as compared to a more conventional benchrest stock. Huckeba’s stock, built by Bob Scoville, is at the cutting edge of short-range benchrest design. Its light-weight balsa wood and carbon fiber construction provides a combination of stiffness and vibration damping that allows its relatively long fore-end to be fully utilized to increase the weight on the rear bag (always an issue with 10.5-pound rifles).

To learn more about this benchrest stock design, read the comments by stock-builder Bob Scoville in our PPC with Pedigree story in our Gun of the Week Archives. Bob observed:

“There is a lot more to the structure of the stocks than meets the eye. The carbon fiber skin with which I cover the stocks creates a light, tough exterior surface. However, this contributes very little to the overall performance of the stocks. The real strength and stiffness is the result of an internal beam utilizing balsa core/carbon fiber technology.

This type construction can be found in aircraft, race cars, powerboats, and sailboats. It is interesting to note, balsa has the highest strength to weight ratio of all woods and carbon fiber is one of the lowest stretch (modulus of elasticity) relative to weight of all materials. The marriage of these two materials is common in the high-performance world. Additionally, balsa is used commercially for vibration dampening and sound reduction.”

Video find by Boyd Allen. Video by Stuart Elliot of BRT Shooters Supply, Brisbane, Australia.
Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Competition, Shooting Skills No Comments »
July 8th, 2020

How to Shoot DOTS — Insanely Small Groups at 200 Yards

200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia tiny group 6 PPC

This site is for and about accurate shooters. So today we feature the short-range group Benchrest game, where it’s all about shooting tiny groups in the ones and even “zeros”. Seeing the tiny groups 6 PPC aces produce, it’s easy to think the precision is all about the equipment. But there is a lot more involved. A talented human still has to watch the flags, run the gun properly, and tune his loads for the conditions. Here are some tips from one of the world’s best benchresters, Charles Huckeba.

Texan Charles Huckeba was the top individual shooter at the 2013 World Benchrest Championships (WBC) held near Sydney Australia in October 2013. In this video, 2013 WBC Two-Gun Overall winner Charles shoots a 1/8th MOA group at 200 yards — “a little bitty dot” as a fellow Team USA shooter observes. That’s impressive. If you can describe Huckeba’s style in a nutshell it would be “smooth, consistent, and rapid but not hurried”.

Charles also employed some unusual hardware. In the video, take a close look at the joystick on the Farley Coaxial front rest. There’s no knob at the end. In its place is a small, wood ammo caddy. Charles removed the standard knob from the handle of his Farley rest and replaced it with a home-made wood block that holds cartridges for the record target. The 10.5-lb Light Varmint rifle is chambered in 6PPC with a BAT Machine Action and a composite wood and carbon-fiber stock.

Watch Charles Huckeba Shoot 1/8 MOA, 200-yard group at World Benchrest Championships

Here is the actual 200-yard, 5-shot group Charles shot in the video. Photo (by Stuart Elliot) taken through the lens of Huckeba’s 50X March scope (reticle has 1/16th MOA Dot).
200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia
200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia

Analyzing the Fine Points — What Makes Huckeba So Good

Short-range benchrest shooter Boyd Allen saw some interesting things in Huckeba’s WBC performance, as captured on video. Boyd noticed Huckeba’s smooth gun-handling and efficient loading. But Boyd also spied some interesting equipment, including an innovative joystick “handle-caddy”.

1. Low Friction Bags — When Huckeba slid his rifle, there was very little apparent friction. The front bag features the new 3M material (ScotchLite) on the sliding surfaces. The rear Protektor bag has ears of the same low-friction material.

2. Pause Before Chambering — While he was watching the flags and deciding when to start firing, Charles kept his first round in the action, but out of the barrel’s chamber, probably so as not to heat the cartridge and change the round’s point of impact.

Charles Huckeba PPC World Benchrest joystick handle3. Ammo Caddy on Joystick Arm – Charles shoots a Right Bolt/Left Port action, so he pulls his rounds with his left hand. Note that Huckeba’s record rounds rest in a small, wood ammo caddy attached to the end of the joystick shaft. Look carefully, you’ll see the wood ammo block in place of the normal black ball at the end of the joystick. That allows Charles to pull shots with the absolute minimum of hand movement. Ingenious! Huckeba is very fast, with a great economy of motion. I believe that because his ammo was literally at hand, Charles was better able to keep his focus on aiming and the flags.

4. Smooth-Cycling BAT Action — Note how smoothly Huckeba’s action operates. When Charles lifts the bolt handle (to extract a round and cock the firing pin), this does not disturb the rifle. Likewise, as he closes the bolt, the gun doesn’t wobble. The smooth action allows Charles to hold point of aim even when shooting relatively quickly. Huckeba’s BAT action is chrome-moly steel. Some shooters believe this metal makes for a smoother action than stainless steel or aluminum.

5. Long-Wheelbase Stock — The wood and carbon fiber stock is light, long, and stiff. Yet, importantly, the stock is also well-damped. The longer-than-average stock length (with extended forearm) seems to help the gun track well without jumping or rocking. The longer forearm allows a longer “wheelbase”, effectively shifting the weight distribution rearward (less weight on the front, more weight on the rear). This places a greater share of the gun’s weight on the rear bag, as compared to a more conventional benchrest stock. Huckeba’s stock, built by Bob Scoville, is at the cutting edge of short-range benchrest design. Its light-weight balsa wood and carbon fiber construction provides a combination of stiffness and vibration damping that allows its relatively long fore-end to be fully utilized to increase the weight on the rear bag (always an issue with 10.5-pound rifles).

To learn more about this benchrest stock design, read the comments by stock-builder Bob Scoville in our PPC with Pedigree story in our Gun of the Week Archives. Bob observed:

“There is a lot more to the structure of the stocks than meets the eye. The carbon fiber skin with which I cover the stocks creates a light, tough exterior surface. However, this contributes very little to the overall performance of the stocks. The real strength and stiffness is the result of an internal beam utilizing balsa core/carbon fiber technology.

This type construction can be found in aircraft, race cars, powerboats, and sailboats. It is interesting to note, balsa has the highest strength to weight ratio of all woods and carbon fiber is one of the lowest stretch (modulus of elasticity) relative to weight of all materials. The marriage of these two materials is common in the high-performance world. Additionally, balsa is used commercially for vibration dampening and sound reduction.”

Video find by Boyd Allen. Video by Stuart Elliot of BRT Shooters Supply, Brisbane, Australia.
Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition 4 Comments »
June 1st, 2020

Short-Range Benchrest Game Captured on Video

Benchrest IBS 100 yards 6PPC Video

We know that many of our readers have never personally participated in a short-range (100/200 yard) benchrest match. That’s understandable — moving backers are required in registered 100/200 benchrest (for group) matches, yet only a small percentage of ranges have that equipment. If you’re curious about the “point-blank” benchrest game, but haven’t had the chance to see it first-hand, check out this video created by youtuber “Taofledermaus”. On his YouTube Channel, you’ll find many other interesting shooting videos, including slow-motion target impact clips. This video shows the LV and HV guns, the flags, the gun-handling, the reloading set-ups, and of course, tiny little groups on targets.

Registered 100/200 Benchrest Match

Viewer Comments on the Video:

“There is a lot more to this game than just pulling the trigger. Record targets are 5-shot groups, 5 averaged together for an Aggregate. Most times the winning Agg is under .250″ for 25 shots at 100 yards. Rifles weigh 10.5 pounds for LV class. Used rifles can be had for about $1500. Then add in another $1000 for rest, bags, loading tools, bullets, powder, not to mention windflags.” — Vmhtr

“Benchrest shooting is sort of an ‘academy of shooting’. Lots of academic thought and measurements, handloading made with anal attention at detail. It’s much more thought than action. Most of those people made their tools themselves. [There are] It’s plenty of seniors because it takes patience, lots of patience. Sure a teenager ain’t gonna bother it.” — THP

“I was surprised they did all their hand loading right there on the spot. — I think you nailed it. It’s a super-precise sport. It’s expensive, it’s slow, and it requires a lot of travel, so it’s well-suited for retired folks. It’s gotta beat golfing!” — Tao

“I used to shoot 6mm PPC in a BR rifle. I spent so much time at the reloading bench that I just gave up on it all and switched to 22 rimfire gallery matches. Saved a lot of my sanity doing that….” — Walt

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
December 22nd, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Speedy’s Stunning 6 PPC Benchrest Rifle

Speedy thomas gonzalez 6mm PPC 6PPC 6 PPC christmas red rifle stiller viper engraved
“Ultimate PPC” by Speedy with engraved Stiller Viper action. Titanium Rest by John Loh (R.I.P.).

Speedy thomas gonzalez 6mm PPC 6PPC 6 PPC christmas red rifle stiller viper engravedJust in time for Christmas, today we feature a beautiful red rifle built by West Texas gunsmith Thomas “Speedy” Gonzalez many seasons back. With an eye-catching, one-of-a-kind engraved Stiller Viper action, and gorgeous red/black gelcoat finish, we think this rifle is one of the prettiest benchrest rigs ever made — and the color scheme fits the holiday season.

When Speedy set out to build the “ultimate PPC” for his own use, he wanted it to be as handsome as it was accurate. This stunning 6 PPC combines some very trick components with old-world detailing. When was the last time you saw an engraved receiver on a “race gun”? This rig combines modern high-tech components with classic good looks — the best of both worlds.

Speedy thomas gonzalez 6mm PPC 6PPC 6 PPC christmas red rifle stiller viper engraved

This competition benchrest rig features an engraved Stiller Viper action, with integral scope rail, SAKO Extractor and non-fluted bolt. The action sits in a new Millenium BR-X carbon-fiber stock built by Robertson Composites (now closed). The bold red-on-black marbled finish is how the gelcoat came from Ian Robertson’s factory — the stock has not been painted. The slick front rest is a titanium Ultra-Rest machined by the late, great John Loh with design input by Speedy. John built only two of these in titanium, one for himself and one for Speedy. We’re sad to say John recently passed. R.I.P. John. The Leupold Competition scope sits in quad-screw bedded rings from S.G.& Y. Precision Rifles.

Speedy picked a very special barrel for this project–a 1:14 twist, 20.5″, 6-groove barrel, the last original Pat McMillan-crafted barrel in Speedy’s inventory. Speedy runs a .263″ neck. Bushing size depends on the load and the condition of his brass. Speedy’s match load is about 29.2 grains of the IMR 8208 “ThunderBird” powder (he stockpiled this great propellant years ago). Speedy feels that T-Bird may be the most user-friendly BR powder ever made: “Once you have a good load worked up with T-Bird, you can shoot it at most any location in the country, and in almost any conditions. It’s not fussy about temperatures or humidity.”

A Very Unique Viper Action, Two Years in the Making
This is no ordinary Viper action. The full engraving attracts your attention, but there are some slick “performance mods” Jerry Stiller added at Speedy’s request.

Speedy thomas gonzalez 6mm PPC 6PPC 6 PPC christmas red rifle stiller viper engravedFirst, the action features a plain-Jane unfluted bolt, with a slight taper in the middle, a bit of a wasp-waist. Speedy prefers an unfluted design because it has superior wear characteristics. He’s found, when working with an aluminum action such as the Viper, the sharp flutes on the bolt will wear the inside of the action faster. In the interest of reduced wear, Speedy also requested a smaller-sized loading/ejection port. This provides for a larger front and rear receiver ring, which enhances bolt bearing surface. More bearing surface reduces point loading for less internal wear.

We were surprised that Speedy did not order a drop port for his Viper. He explained: “I’m a bag squeezer, so I keep my forearm right where the cases would exit the drop port. I’ve used the drop ports, but given my shooting style, I prefer a conventional port.” Speedy did decide to fit the bolt with a SAKO-style extractor. He believes this is easier to tune and can contribute to accuracy. Speedy told us: “With a conventional sliding plate extractor, like you find on the Stolle actions, there can be a bit of a side push as you chamber the round. I think this can affect the way the bullet enters the chamber. With the SAKO extractor there is no side-push so I can reduce the possibility of bullet misalignment.”

BR-X Stock — American Design, Canadian Craftsmanship
The BR-X carbon fiber stock represents a third-generation design. The original Millenium, built by Lee Six, was a hollow shell. This modern BR-X is carbon fiber over a foam core. In Light Varmint trim, it weighs just 1.5 pounds. Speedy tells us: “this BR-X has a low center of gravity, slight pistol grip, and the angles are really straight and true. It tracks well in the bags, and won’t lift out of the rear bag during recoil. That’s one of the purposes of the wedge-shaped rear section.”

Speedy thomas gonzalez 6mm PPC 6PPC 6 PPC christmas red rifle stiller viper engraved

Speedy looked at the various benchrest stocks, and, with input from Tony Boyer, he worked out a design that mirrored many of the better features of existing designs with some significant enhancements. The first thing you’ll notice is that the geometry is very uniform. The flats on the side of the fore-arm are perfectly parallel. The underside of the fore-arm is seamless and completely flat. Speedy explained “one problem we’ve seen with stocks that have a mold seam in the middle is that sometimes the two halves of the mold don’t mate perfectly. Sometimes the mold is mismatched so one side is on a different plane. That creates all kinds of handling issues. If the bottom of the stock is convex, even a little bit, you lose a lot of stability.”

Speedy thomas gonzalez 6mm PPC 6PPC 6 PPC christmas red rifle stiller viper engravedMuch thought went into the rear section of the stock. Speedy and Tony found that many stocks would start off tracking well, but by the end of the string they were pulling themselves out of alignment. Speedy noted that with some more conventional designs, they tended to ride up out of the rear bag after two or three shots. The BR-X works differently. It uses a wedge design, rather than a radius, so it tends to drive itself down into the bag on recoil. The BR-X is not the only stock to use a wedge in the rear, but it is different than other wedge designs. According to Speedy: “On most other wedge stocks, the wedge tapers towards the pistol grip, making the ‘V’ wider towards the end of the buttstock. This will change point of aim as the stock moves. The BR-X has a wedge that is a constant ‘V’, with no taper from the end to the pistol grip. This does make the gun track better and stay on target better.”

Competition Benchrest Terminology

Bughole: Very small group.
Mothball: The 10-ring on the standard Benchrest Target.
Tomato Stake: A worn out or otherwise inaccurate rifle barrel.
Screamer: A group measuring less than 0.100″ at 100 yards or less than 0.250” at 200 yards.
Weather Report: A Group “scattered” as a result of poor wind doping.
Wailing Wall: Place where targets that have been scored can be viewed by competitors.
Dope the Wind: Ccompensate for the effects of wind by shifting aiming points on the target.

Barrels–The Hunt for a ‘Hummer’
Top 6 PPC competitors often run through a number of barrels in the quest for a “hummer” that performs optimally. In addition to the Pat McMillen tube on this gun, Speedy uses barrels from Hart, Krieger, and Shilen. He’s tried a few from some other boutique barrel makers and they shot well, but he wasn’t satisfied with the barrel life. Some of them lost their competitive edge after just 500-600 rounds. He won’t name names in print, but you can call and ask. When choosing a barrel, Speedy recommends that you invest the time and call a few well-known smiths who regularly compete in high-level BR matches. Find out what’s working real well currently.

Speedy thomas gonzalez 6mm PPC 6PPC 6 PPC christmas red rifle stiller viper engravedSpeedy says, “you can read the equipment lists from the big shoots, but the printed results can be deceiving. That winning barrel might have been produced a couple of years ago. Barrel-makers do have good runs and not-so-good runs. Do your homework and find out what’s working best right now.” Speedy prefers 6-groove barrels: “I’ve shot em all one time or another. It seems that the 6-groove barrels are easier to get to shoot. It seems at 200 yards bullets from a 4-groove barrel move more than from a 6-groove barrel. Both windage and elevation. I think Tony Boyer feels the same way.” [Editor’s Note: Speedy’s groove observations were made many seasons ago. Today, many top shooters are using 4-groove and 5-groove barrels, and 3-grooves have been successful in score competition.]

We asked about Speedy’s signature “SpiderWeb finish”. While the web design has esthetic appeal, there is a functional side as well: “Tests have shown that a bead-blasted barrel will shed heat faster than a highly polished barrel. With the SpiderWeb, we leave most of the bead-blast finish on the barrel, but the web effect gives the tube some visual appeal.”

Speedy Speaks — How to Succeed in Benchrest Competition

Let me begin by saying that benchrest competition is the most difficult sport I’ve ever tried. For the newcomer, it can be daunting. From the very word “go” you are thrown to the wolves. Most new competitors have about a two and a half or three-year window. After that, if they are not meeting their expectations, they get fed up and leave the sport. Considering the time, effort, and money they may have expended in that time, that’s an unfortunate outcome.

Speedy thomas gonzalez 6mm PPC 6PPC 6 PPC christmas red rifle stiller viper engravedSo, how does one improve as a shooter and get to the point where you are meeting your goals? First you need to break down the shooting process into its parts–gun handling, loading technique, wind awareness, time management, bag set-up, and what I call ‘bench management’. Then you need a mentor. Benchrest is like golf–you can have the best equipment (best action, best stock, best rest) but you won’t get far without a knowledgeable veteran to monitor your progress and observe your technique. Without a mentor, benchrest is a rough game to play and you can reach a frustration point after a couple of years.

If you don’t have somebody who can sit and evaluate your loading style, bolt-working, follow-through, and wind-reading etc., you can develop bad habits that are hard to break. If there’s no one to monitor your shooting and see what you’re doing wrong, you’ll keep making the same mistakes. So how does one find a mentor? Well it’s not a bad idea to attend one of the shooting schools. But one-on-one training is best. Look for someone with a strong record in competition, but a person who is also patient. And when you find that person, show some loyalty. With most people who have been involved in the sport a while, if you show them allegiance, they will return that allegiance.

6mm PPC Basics — About the Cartridge

Speedy thomas gonzalez 6mm PPC 6PPC 6 PPC christmas red rifle stiller viper engravedDeveloped by Louis Palmisano and Ferris Pindell (left and right in photo), the 6 PPC is the “King of the Hill” in short-range benchrest competition, the most accurate cartridge ever invented. It still completely dominates 100- and 200-yard Group BR Shooting. If you want to win in that game, you pretty much have to shoot a 6 PPC, or some close variant of the 6 PPC cartridge design.

Easily made from Lapua 220 Russian brass, the 6mm PPC has a small primer and small flash hole. The small flash hole/primer accounts for much of the 6 PPC’s superior accuracy, though nobody really knows precisely how or why. The “short, fat” shape and nearly straight body contribute to efficient, consistent combustion and good “chamber behavior”.

While SAKO has created an official SAAMI 6mm PPC round, called the 6PPC USA, most American 6 PPC shooters run tight match chambers cut with custom reamers. There will be variations from one reamer to another, enough so that custom dies are generally recommended for match guns. Here is a PT&G reamer spec’d by Speedy a while back. He prefers a .263″ neck because that works better than .262″ when he needs to use his tightest bushings to get more neck tension.

Speedy thomas gonzalez 6mm PPC 6PPC 6 PPC christmas red rifle stiller viper engraved

The 6 PPC’s case capacity, case size to bore ratio, and combustion properties seem to be just about ideal for the short 6mm match bullets. A 6BR can come close, but when the goal is shooting “zero” groups at 100 and 200 yards, the 6 PPC is the clear winner. Currently most 6 PPC shooters form their cases from Lapua 220 Russian brass. Norma also makes factory-formed 6 PPC cases, but Norma brass is not commonly used as most shooters believe it is less “tough” than Lapua brass and accordingly won’t last as long with very stout match loads.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gear Review, Gunsmithing No Comments »
August 30th, 2019

IBS Match Report: 2019 Group Nationals in Holton, Michigan

IBS Group Benchrest Nationals Jeff Stover IBS
4-Gun winner Wayne Campbell is arguably the best group benchrest shooter in the world right now.

IBS 100/200 Yard Group Benchrest National Championships

Story by IBS President Jeff Stover President based on report by Harley Baker

Western Michigan was the site of the 2019 IBS Group Nationals. This major event was held August 12-17, 2019 at the Holton Gun & Bow Club. This club hosts many quality group benchrest matches throughout the season, and this one was no exception. The Holton team, especially match director Nancy Scarbrough, made everything seem easy. The shooters, however, don’t find conditions easy at all.

Jeff Stover IBS International Benchrest Shooters Holton gun bow club MI Michigan 6PPC Vihtavuori N133

Summer Sun, Mirage, and Switchy Winds
In the middle of August, Holton’s sandy soils can generate fierce mirage. It can get so bad that competitors may not be able to see bullet holes clearly and target rings can become indistinguishable. In Warren Page’s classic gun book, “The Accurate Rifle”, he speaks of mirage as “shooting through the swimming pool”. Well Warren Page must have shot Holton. When mirage was not the problem at Holton, switchy winds were the order of the day. CLICK HERE for 2019 IBS Group Nationals Results.

IBS Group Nationals Course of Fire
The IBS Group Nationals can be an endurance test as the event spans six days. The sequence of competition has 100-yard targets shot the first three days, followed by three days at 200 yards. It is done this way to require only one change of wind flags. Nationals competition requires “full rotation”. That means that every time a shooter goes to the line for the next match target, he or she must move a requisite number of benches to the right. At the end of the day a shooter will shoot across the full width of the line. Some ranges offer unique properties that render some parts of the range harder or easier to shoot small groups. Bench rotation is important to even out those factors.

Classes At the IBS Group Nationals
It takes thirty targets of 5-shot groups and ten targets of 10-shot groups to win a “4-Gun Nationals”. That covers FOUR classes: Light Varmint, Heavy Varmint, Sporter, and Heavy Bench. For all practical purposes, the first three are known as “bag guns” while the heavy bench rifles are “rail guns”. In fact, most competitors shooting a bag gun opt for a single rifle, which has been benchrest standard for decades: a 10.5-lb rifle chambered in 6PPC.

Day by Day Report — Group Nationals Highlights
The first day of competition was for the Heavy Bench class — the Rail Guns. That is what Heavy Bench is these days. Jeff Peinhardt had a handle on conditions for his five 10-shot groups. His largest group was only a .202″. The rest were small dark holes where the 10 bullets honed away any paper fuzz. His average for the five groups in this aggregate was .1710″. Really small, but only .0074″ behind was Paul Mitchell. Rounding out third place was Michigander Lee Hachigian with a .1866″.

Jeff Stover IBS International Benchrest Shooters Holton gun bow club MI Michigan 6PPC Vihtavuori N133

The “bag guns” come out on Tuesday for the 100-yard competition for Light Varmint and Sporter rifles. These are the 10.5-lb rifles. The only difference is that in Sporter you must have your rifle chamber with at least a 6mm bore. Since virtually everyone shoots a 6PPC it really doesn’t matter. Wayne Campbell from Virginia nailed a tight .1556” aggregate in Sporter at 100. Tony Alexander (.1758”) and Jack Neary (.1792”) rounded out the top three.

For Light Varmint at 100 yards. Larry Costa led the way with a .2022” when conditions were a little harder to read. Jack Neary and Kevin Donalds Sr. were close behind.

Wednesday morning of Nationals Week is Heavy Varmint at 100. Ken Donalds Sr. still had his rifle tuned to perfection as he won this aggregate with a .1624. Jack Neary and Harley Baker shot well with five-target averages in the .18XX. Wednesday afternoon the shooters take a break and hold a Powder Puff competition for non-shooters, including children and spouses were allowed to shot a group with bench coaching from seasoned competitors.

On Thursday the targets get moved to 200 yards along with a expanding sea of wind flags. Eventual multi-gun winner Wayne Campbell smoked the field Light Varmint 200 with a .1674 MOA Aggregate. His average group size at 200 yards was O.334 inches but in short-range group competition the scores are converted to minute of angle (MOA). The only other shooter Agging under 0.2 MOA was upstate New York restaurateur Pando Vasilovski with a 0.1927.

It was time for Sporter at 200 and Don Rosette from Ohio was the only shooter in the “teens” with a .1997 MOA Agg. Pando still had it working and was second.

IBS Group Benchrest Nationals Jeff Stover IBS
Here are some of the “Top Guns” from the 2019 IBS Group Nationals in Holton, MI.

Former Super Shoot winner Larry Costa won the Heavy Varmint 200 with a .2007 MOA Agg and he had room to spare to beat Kevin Donalds Jr. and Jeff Peinhardt with a .22 and .23 respectively.

The last day, Saturday, the rail guns were hauled out again for the Heavy Bench 200. Mark Buettgen topped the field with a .2572 MOA Agg. No need to check the equipment list to know what barrel brand Buettgen used. Mark works for Bartlein Barrels in Wisconsin. Wayne Campbell was just on Mark’s heels.

Grand Aggregate (100+200)
Winners (all MOA):

Light Varmint: Wayne Campbell, .1939
Sporter: Wayne Campbell, .2133
Heavy Varmint: Larry Costa, .2026
Heavy Bench: Don Powell, .2342

Multi-gun results:
2-Gun (HV+LV 20 targets): Larry Costa, .2197
3-Gun (LV+SP+HV 30 targets): Wayne Campbell, .2205
4-Gun (LV+SP+HV+HB 40 targets): Wayne Campbell, .2279
(in 4-gun Tony Alexander was second with .2404, followed by Larry Costa with .2451)

CLICK HERE for 2019 IBS Group Nationals Complete Match Results

The Rifle for Short-Range Benchrest Competition

Hardware Choices: Actions, Stocks, Barrels, Optics and More
Tech Talk by Jeff Stover

Let’s examine the Top Ten rifles from this year’s IBS Group Nationals in the 10.5-lb Light Varmint Class. We’ll focus on the most popular rifle components — the choices for Actions, Stocks, Barrels, and Scopes.

IBS Group Benchrest Nationals Jeff Stover IBS

For some years now, BAT has been the predominant action. This year BAT actions held nearly 100% of the Top Ten places in all the Bag Gun equipment lists. Bruce Thom’s Idaho-crafted actions, except for a couple stray actions in Heavy Bench, swept the top rankings.

IBS Group Benchrest Nationals Jeff Stover IBS

Next, look at barrels. Bartlein or Krieger seem to rule with upstate New York’s venerable Hart barrels as competitive. Shooters tend to go with winners, so Wayne Campbell and Jeff Peinhardt dominate as gunsmiths for the top benchrest shooters.

In stocks there seems to be variety, but there is some commonality. The Scoville and Scarbrough stocks, both Michigan-made, are laminated wood (balsa and other wood) with carbon fiber and wrapped in carbon fiber. The Scoville stock on my 10.5-lb rifle weighs 18 ounces but is full size with a nice long fore-end. Bob Scarbrough makes a very similar product. Both are winners — it’s a choice of Ferrari or Lamborghini. The Roy Hunter and Terry Leonard stocks among these top rifles take a different route to winner’s circle. Both are wood (cedar or other), but super high-tech as they are laminated with carbon fiber. They are beautiful to boot. High-magnification Leupold, March, and Nightforce scopes rule the roost among benchrest optics.

Bullets and Powder
Bullets are important. Really important. A hot bullet gives you “Teen Aggs” and lots of trophies. An average bullet does not. Most of these are 68 grain 6mm boattails. The Peinhardt (StaMoly Precision) bullet is well represented on this list, but some top shooters make their own as you can see. Bullet jackets are likely StaMoly or J4. For powder, nearly everyone shoots Vihtavouri N133 except a few guys running LT30/32 or surplus 8208.

Vihtavuori N 133 N133 powder reloading

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, News, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
July 29th, 2019

Jack Neary Shoots WBC Record 0.110″ at 200 Yards in Canada

Jack Neary Team Lapua Vihtavuori WBC World Championship benchrest 6mm PPC Calgary Alberta Canada

No, that’s not two shots — it is FIVE shots, with basically four in one hole and a fifth very slightly over. If that’s not impressive enough, consider this stunning 0.110″ group was shot at TWO HUNDRED yards — the length of two football fields. This amazing group was shot by Jack Neary at the 2019 World Benchrest Championship (WBC) held in Calgary, Alberta earlier this month.

Neary’s 0.110″ 200-yard group establishes a new WBC world record in the Light Varmint (LV) rifle class (10.5-lb max rifle weight). Jack was competing with Team USA “C Squad”, which also captured the WBC 2-Gun Gold Medal in the 4-man Team Championship.

Jack Neary Team Lapua Vihtavuori WBC World Championships benchrest 6mm PPC Calgary Alberta CanadaWorld Benchrest Championships
The World Benchrest Championships are held every two years and attract competitors from over 20 countries. Jack Neary’s .110″ group is now a confirmed WBC 200-yard World Record for smallest 5-shot group. Neary was shooting a 6mm PPC hand-loaded with Vihtavuori N133 powder.

NOTE: This is a record for WBC competition. However, it is slightly larger than current NBRSA and IBS 200-yard Light Varmint (LV) records. The NBRSA LV 200-yard record is 0.075″ set by Johnnie Stewart in 2009. The IBS LV 200-yard record is 0.091″ by David Farrar in 2006. Still, Neary’s 0.110″ 5-shot group is a great accomplishment, set at the highest level of competition, at a match which had very challenging conditions.

Jack Neary Team Lapua Vihtavuori WBC World Championships benchrest 6mm PPC Calgary Alberta Canada

Jack stated, “Vihtavuori’s temperature stability and cleaning burning attributes have been instrumental for competitors to achieve world record accuracy in the furthest corners of the world.”

Vihtavuori powders (predominently N133) were used by nearly every competitor (over 90%) during the World Benchrest Championship. VV N133 continues to dominate the short-range benchrest game. Notably, Vihtavuori powders have also been successful in the Extreme Long Range game, with VV powders used by recent KO2M winners. The next World Benchrest Championship will be held in Fall of 2021 in South Africa.

Jack Neary Team Lapua Vihtavuori WBC World Championships benchrest 6mm PPC Calgary Alberta Canada

Neary Helps Team USA Win Gold at World Championship

Team Lapua’s Jack Neary, along with his Team USA “C Squad” teammates Harley Baker, Gary Bristow, and Jeff Graves, won the 4-Man Team Gold Medal at the 2019 World Benchrest Championship held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada this past week. Neary’s squad had the best overall Grand Aggregate, 0.2598, for the WBC combined 2-Gun Championship. Team USA “A Squad” took second place with a 0.2646 2-Gun Aggregate. CLICK HERE for WBC Team Championship Results.

All Team USA Gold Medalists used Lapua cartridge cases exclusively at the WBC. Lapua cartridge cases are known for superb quality of construction, using only the finest raw materials and superior annealing processes. Each case is machined to exacting dimensions. Lapua brass is renown for its superior consistency and longevity. The best brass also lasts the longest.

Neary stated, “Lapua cases are the foundation [for] our competition hand-loads[.] When competing at the highest levels against the most talented shooters in the world, we need the absolute best components available. There’s no doubt Lapua helped secure the Gold for Team USA.”

Lapua vihtavuori CapstoneAbout Lapua and Vihtavuori
Lapua produces the highest-quality small caliber cartridges and components for civilian and professional use. Vihtavuori is renowned for smokeless powders with superb lot-to-lot consistency that deliver superior accuracy Lapua and Vihtavuori are part of the Capstone Precision Group, exclusive U.S. distributor for Berger, Lapua, Vihtavuori and SK-Rimfire products. For more information, visit Lapua.com and Vihtavuori.com.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News, Reloading, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
July 3rd, 2019

IBS Seeks Match Report Editor — Help Popularize Our Sport

IBS Match shoot report editor hire job writing 2019 Jeff Stover president international benchrest shooters website accurateshooter.com

Would you like to become a respected gun journalist/editor — and work with the nation’s most talented benchrest shooters (from 100 to 1000 yards). Do you enjoy photography, and like to see images of beautiful ranges and the world’s most accurate rifles? Then here is a great opportunity…

IBS Match shoot report editor hire job writing 2019 Jeff Stover president international benchrest shooters website accurateshooter.com

The International Benchrest Shooters (IBS) is looking for a new Match Reports Editor. This individual will work with AccurateShooter.com to deliver photo-illustrated reports on important IBS matches around the country. These match reports can appear here in the Daily Bulletin, on the main Accurateshooter.com site, and on the IBS website (in modified format).

IBS Match Report Editor Job Opportunity
IBS seeks a part-time Editor to manage reports on the IBS Nationals and Featured Matches on Accurateshooter.com. The duties include communicating with match organizers, receiving match reports and equipment lists, and managing digital images. In addition, the Editor will help with some special IBS features and equipment articles. Salary is negotiable, based on experience and work output.

Contact IBS President, Jeff Stover at: ibsprez @ yahoo.com

No Expert Skills Required — Just Enthusiasm for the Sport
You don’t need to be a computer whiz — no programming is involved. If you can use a basic writing program and can email photos then you’ve got the skill set needed. Basically the IBS is looking for someone who enjoys benchrest shooting and would like to help the sport by showcasing the fun and camaraderie of IBS matches. Here are some images from past IBS match reports:

IBS Match shoot report editor hire job writing 2019 Jeff Stover president international benchrest shooters website accurateshooter.com

IBS Match shoot report editor hire job writing 2019 Jeff Stover president international benchrest shooters website accurateshooter.com

IBS Match shoot report editor hire job writing 2019 Jeff Stover president international benchrest shooters website accurateshooter.com

IBS Match shoot report editor hire job writing 2019 Jeff Stover president international benchrest shooters website accurateshooter.com

IBS Match shoot report editor hire job writing 2019 Jeff Stover president international benchrest shooters website accurateshooter.com

IBS Match shoot report editor hire job writing 2019 Jeff Stover president international benchrest shooters website accurateshooter.com

IBS Match shoot report editor hire job writing 2019 Jeff Stover president international benchrest shooters website accurateshooter.com

IBS Match shoot report editor hire job writing 2019 Jeff Stover president international benchrest shooters website accurateshooter.com

IBS Match shoot report editor hire job writing 2019 Jeff Stover president international benchrest shooters website accurateshooter.com

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
May 29th, 2019

Super Shoot Top 20 GEAR — BATs, Kriegers, and Lots of Tuners

Kelbly Kelbly's super shoot benchrest 100 yard 6mm 6PPC
Firing line at 2019 Super Shoot. Photo courtesy Armeria Regina.

What components do world-class, short-range group benchrest shooters use? BAT actions, Krieger barrels, and Bix’n Andy triggers (and Jewells) are the components of choice. And barrel tuners are now widely used by the top shooters. As for powder, Vitavuori N133 is still the choice of virtually all top competitors. And yes the 6PPC definitely rules the roost. Every Top 20 shooter at the 2019 Super Shoot shot a 6PPC. Every one. Read on to learn more about the Top 20 Equipment used at this year’s Super Shoot.

Kelbly Kelbly's super shoot benchrest 100 yard 6mm 6PPC
Click Image to view FULL-SIZE Equipment List.

We recently reviewed the Top 20 Equipment List for the 2019 Super Shoot at the Kelbly’s Range in Ohio. This Top 20 List reveals the gear choices for the 13.5-lb Heavy Varmint Class and the 10.5-lb Light Varmint/Sporter Class (20 entries for each division). Here are notable gear choices for Top 20 Competitors (both divisions) at the 2019 Super Shoot:

Actions: 14 of 20 HV and 16 of 20 LV/SP shooters used BAT actions. So there were 75% BATs for both classes combined.
Barrels: 10 of 13 listed HV barrels and 9 of 12 listed LV/SP barrels were Kriegers. Overall, of the barrels identified in the Top 20 Equipment lists, 76% were Krieger. That’s dominance! [Note: We have been informed that entries with no barrel-maker listed may have been Bartlein barrels.]
Triggers: Notably 10 of 20 HV triggers were Bix’n Andy — 50%. For the other class, 7 of 19 listed triggers were Bix ‘N Andy. All others were Jewells.
Tuners: In HV Class, 12 of 20 shooters used tuners, mostly Bukys. 11 of 20 LV/SP shooters had tuners. Overall that is 57.5% tuner usage for both classes combined.

Barrel Tuner Gene Bukys Shadetree Engineering

Cartridge: For both classes, every single Top 20 competitor shot the 6PPC. ‘Nuf said.
Powders: 19 of 20 HV Shooters used Vihtavuori N133. Likewise 19 of 20 LV/SP shooters used VV N133, with one not reporting. That is total dominance for N133.

Kelbly Kelbly's super shoot benchrest 100 yard 6mm 6PPC

Bullets: There was a wide selection of bullets used in both classes. Custom bullets by “boutique” bullet makers were certainly favored by Top 20 shooters. Sta Moy 65s were popular, as were Hottenstein 68s and Bart’s bullets among others.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gear Review 6 Comments »
January 30th, 2019

Hydro-Forming, Annealing, Neck-Turning by DJ’s Brass

DJ's Brass Restoration Service

Don’t have time to neck-turn hundreds of cases? Don’t want to invest in your own annealer? Want to try a Dasher or 6 BRA but don’t like the hassle of fire-forming? Then give Darrell Jones at DJ’s Brass a call at 205-461-4680. He can handle all the difficult brass forming/brass restoration chores efficiently and affordably. And Darrell’s turn-around time is typically very fast.

Hydro-Forming News — .284 Shehane, 6 PPC, 6 BRA, 6 Dasher and More
NEW for 2019! Darrell also just got a custom hydro die for the .284 Shehane, a wildcat based on the .284 Winchester. This is a very popular option for F-Open Shooters. He is also doing a ton of fire-forming for the 100/200 benchrest crowd, hydro-forming 220 Russian into 6 PPC. And he tells us “Those guys in Montana are keeping me very busying hydro-forming the 6BR Ackley (6 BRA). NOTE: Darrell offers Free Annealing with hydro-forming services, which starts at $60 per 100 cases.

Bench Source Annealing machineWith the price of premium brass topping $1.00 per case for popular match cartridges, it makes sense to consider annealing your brass to extend its useful life. You don’t want to chuck out brass that costs a buck a case (or more)! Forum member Darrell Jones offers a full range of brass prep, brass forming, and brass restoration (annealing, ultra-sonic cleaning) at very affordable prices. Starting at just $20 per 100 cases ($25/100 for magnum cases), Darrell’s company, DJ’s Brass, will anneal your used brass using the impressive Bench-Source annealing machines. Annealing plus ultrasonic cleaning starts at $35 per 100 cases ($45 for magnum cases). For a bit more money Darrell can also uniform the primer pockets and chamfer the case necks.

Custom Neck-Turning Services
Another great service DJ’s Brass provides is precision neck-turning. Darrell can neck-turn any size case to your specified neck-wall thickness. The price starts at $60.00 per hundred for standard cases or $75.00/100 for magnum size. And if you’ve got a bucket of brass to neck-turn, that’s fine with Darrell — he recently neck-turned 1500 pieces of brass for one customer!

DJ’s Brass can process everything from .17 Fireball all the way up to the big magnum cases. And the job gets done quickly. Darrell normally offers a 10-day turn-around. For most jobs, Darrell tells us, he gets the processed brass to the Post Office within three business days. For more info, visit DJsBrass.com or call Darrell Jones at 205-461-4680. IMPORTANT: Contact Darrell for shipping instructions BEFORE sending any brass for processing. ALL BRASS MUST BE DE-PRIMED before you send it.

DJ's Brass Restoration Service

• Anneal Case Necks Only ($20.00/100 normal or $25.00/100 magnum)
• Ultrasonic Cleaning, Check Necks, and Annealing ($35.00/100 normal or $45.00/100 magnum)
• Full Service: Uniform primer pockets, Chamfer case mouths, Ultrasonic cleaning, Anneal case necks (Starting at $60.00/100 call for quote)
• Neck Turning or trim-to-length Custom Order Service (Starting at $60.00/100 for standard cases and $75.00/100 for magnums)
• Hydro-Form Specialty cases (such as Dasher) $0.60 (sixty cents) each minimum of 100 pieces plus actual return shipping cost
• Expand Case Necks and Anneal brass (Call for Price)
• Create False Shoulder for Fire-Forming (Call for Price)

Hydro-Forming Cartridge Brass

Hydro-forming by Darrell costs $0.60 per case with 100-ct minimum. All hydro-formed cases are annealed at no extra charge after the forming process. After hydro-forming, Darrell can also neck-turn the case for an additional charge (call for combined quote). In addition to the 6mmBR-based cases shown below, Darrell can now hydro-form 6PPC cases from .220 Russian brass, and he also offers .284 Shehane.

hydroforming hydro-form Dasher 6mmBR PPC Darrell Jones

With Darrell’s hydro-forming service you don’t have to buy any special dies or other equipment. Darrell says: “Simply send me the brass you need or have it dropped-shipped to me along with a fired case that has not been sized. If you need formed brass for a new build (gun not yet fired), let me know and I will size the brass to fit within .001″ of a PT&G GO gauge.”

DJ’s Brass Offers Specialized Custom Services
Darrell tells us: “At DJ’s Brass, we can handle all your brass refurbishing needs. From ultrasonic cleaning to custom annealing for specific wildcat cartridges. We can expand your necks from .22 caliber to .30 caliber and anneal shoulders for consistent bump-back. We can turn your case-necks and trim the brass to your specs. For some cartridge types, I can pre-form cases to assist in fire-forming a wildcat cartridge. We also remove the carbon build-up in muzzle brakes. Don’t lose your accuracy by having carbon build up and close off the clearance required for the most accurate bullet release through a muzzle brake.” Note: Extra charges apply for neck-turning and neck expansion operations, or specialized cartridge-forming operations. Please call Darrell at 205-461-4680 for special services pricing.

DJ's Brass Restoration Service

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »